Last week I wrote a post asking all of you to vote for your favorite passage from some “mystery” writers. Thanks to all of you who decided to play. The votes came in and below are how they ranked, along with the writer and where the passage came from. If you click on the links below, you can go read more about them (except for one).
Green Dress 31.25% J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
Crazy Beautiful 28.13% Brigitte Surette, Short Story in Progress
Gaunt Face 15.63% Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Tan Eels 15.63% Junot Diaz, “Miss Lora,” Short Story from The New Yorker
Chitchat 9% William Landay, Defending Jacob
Yeah, I slipped some of my own writing in there, among the greats, to see how it would fare. Did surrounding it by all those writerly passages make mine read better? Or should I just shut up and be happy about it?
I’m surprised that it took second place! But, I bet if I would’ve taken five other random excerpts from those same writings, then it’d be a whole different ballgame.
You Said It and Voted
Still, I’m inspired. Maggie recognized Holden from Catcher in the Rye right away. Later in the day, so did Sally. Smak, Le Clown, Sara, Jackie, Diana, Lillian, Sara and Jules picked Holden and his Green Dress.
Grippy, Cathy and Char loved Crazy Beautiful — thanks, ladies and others just didn’t like it. I appreciate your telling me why you didn’t like it and I mean that.
Audra, Weebs and JM voted for Gaunt Face, Lynne and Mike voted Tan Eels and Addie and Amy liked Chitchat.
(If any of you are reading the Banter for the first time or you’re a new follower, please visit the original post and click on those who commented and liked and visit their blogs — they’re all inspiring and/or funny writers themselves.)
Some of you didn’t reveal your favorite or least favorite.
Some like descriptive writing while others like a more narrative approach. It’s balancing the two that most people like, then again there’s Faulkner and Hemingway. One uses a lot of flowery descriptions, the other likes it short and sweet.
What if I’d placed last? That’d be okay too because constructive criticism is good, but I may not have felt as good about it. Those of you who write (for business and creatively) know what I mean. Writers are (at least this one is) a notoriously insecure bunch.
When you put your words out there, you’re putting yourself out there, exposing your vulnerabilities and hoping that people who read what you write will take something from it, feel something after reading it. Anything — any emotion — is good. To me that’s what a good writer does; evokes emotion.
I promise I won’t be that tricky again. Well, maybe I won’t.